I have been gluten free for about six years now, and I still sense the speculation about the validity of needing to be maintain a gluten free diet. I have seen and heard jokes surrounding the diet as it has become more widespread.
My journey began after I had my first child. Instead of losing weight following her birth, I continued to gain weight. About five month’s post-partum, I began working to clean up my diet. On days that I eliminated carbohydrates in order reduce calories, I noticed I had more energy and felt better.
At some point, I stumbled across a naturopathic doctor’s advertisement describing the issues people have with malfunctioning thyroids. Having been diagnosed with hypothyroidism with continued annoying symptoms despite treatment, it peaked my interest. I decided to have a consultation, and I was not disappointed. Having been a nurse for seven, years, it was clear that the unconventional doctor’s knowledge was legitimate.
Through their program, I received testing and completed a 21 day cleanse that eliminated all allergen typical foods like dairy, gluten, eggs and nuts. By the time it was over, my tests revealed a strong sensitivity to wheat, which contains gluten. I cried with relief at having an answer to several of my symptoms and a clear way to correct it.
It has been a journey of learning eliminate something that is found in so many things. Along the way, I have discovered an enormous amount of food that is naturally gluten free. Six years later, it is easy and natural for me to check ingredients prior to eating. I can typically spot items on a menu that are likely gluten free, and I have learned to access online websites prior to eating out.
For me it is not a fad. I really want a donut when my family makes a random stop at Krispy Kreme. It is expensive for our family to order pizza, because anything gluten free is more expensive and requires an entire separate pie just for me. I struggle when we are invited to someone’s house for dinner that is not aware of my intolerance, because I do not want to be a difficult guest. Most of all I miss a good Chick-fila original sandwich with extra pickles; I can still imagine the taste.
There have been times that I have accidently had gluten, and I have clear symptoms. I get extremely tired, bloated and achiness. The last accidental ingestion left me spending Christmas Eve losing my dinner in a toilet. Sadly, there are others with more severe reactions and sensitivity. While it may be a fad for some, for many of us, it results in a healthier life.
Writer Bio: Summer Bolte
I spend most of my time and days with my three kids, husband and dog. My kids frequently play near me as I garden, cook, DIY and volunteer. My most unusual paying job has to be feeding fruit flies in a research lab, and my most fulfilling job was being an oncology nurse for seven years.